Your wedding day only happens once, which means you only have one chance to capture photos of your special day.

If you want beautiful photos to remember your wedding by, you better make sure to hire a talented wedding photographer.

Saving money is always a good thing, but hiring a cheap or amateur wedding photographer could mean that you end up with bad or botched wedding photos.

If you want great wedding photos, you need a skilled, experienced professional who knows what they are doing.

Find a reliable photographer

One of the best ways to find a reputable wedding photographer is to ask friends and family who they have used in the past. Ask if you can see their wedding photos. Visit the photographer’s website and take a look at their portfolio. If you like what you see, call to set up a face-to-face interview.

It’s also easy to find wedding photographers in your area by doing a search on Eventective. Generate a list of candidates and begin contacting them by phone or by email to find out their general availability and schedule time for an interview. If a photographer you’re interested in is unavailable on your wedding date, ask if there’s another photographer they can recommend.

How do you want your photos to look?

Before you meet with any photographer for an interview, you should have an idea of what you want your photos to look like. Do you want indoor shots or outdoor ones? Black and white or color? Posed or candid?

You should have a clear idea in mind of what you want before you sit down to discuss options with a photographer.

Interview the candidates

It is crucial that you interview each prospective photographer in person. Make sure you have an idea of the style and type of photos that you want before the interview so you can be sure that they will meet your needs. Here are some points you may want to cover in the interview:

  • Verify the photographer’s credentials. Are they certified through the Professional Photographer’s Association of America? Keep in mind that not every photographer can afford to be certified, but it’s usually a plus if they are.
  • What’s his/her experience level? Has he/she shot a lot of weddings or just a handful?
  • Will the photographer be shooting the wedding themselves or sending someone else? Some photography companies employ several photographers so make sure that the one you are interviewing is the one who will be at your wedding.
  • Do you get along? Do you like his/her personality? The last thing you need at your wedding is an annoying photographer chasing you with a camera the whole time. It’s very important that you like the photographer because you will be working with them all day.
  • Ask how the photographer how he/she plans to dress for the occasion. If you’re having a formal affair, then the photographer should dress accordingly.
  • Will he/she use film or take digital photos?
  • Determine how long you want the photographer to stay at the wedding.
  • Who gets to keep the negatives? Usually the photographer keeps the negatives but may be willing to turn them over to you if you have purchased at least one set of prints.
  • If the photographer is out of your price range, try asking for a discount. Great photographs are worth the money, but you shouldn’t have to break the bank to get them.
  • Before the wedding, sit down with the photographer to discuss what specific shots you want him/her to capture.
  • Find out if they have backup equipment and extra film. This is crucial. If the camera fails or the film gets ruined or runs out, your wedding photos could turn into a disaster!
  • Discuss the length of time it should take for you to get the prints back.

Get Everything Down in Writing

When you have decided who you want to hire, it’s time to draw up a written contract for you and the photographer to sign. Be sure to include all of the details you agreed upon in the interview.

In the event that there is a misunderstanding of some kind, a contract will help clear things up. Make sure you read the fine print before signing!